Monday, June 20, 2016

Declaring Your Name

1 Cor. 16:13 - "rise up"  (climb higher, do better, become what should be, step up, grow up, "buck" up)

Many men WANT to do this - yet FAIL to climb!!

WHY - (some reasons...)

1)  Selfishness - we want what we want even while wanting what God wants.  We're born with sin nature, want what self wants.  This = true of all people - not just men.

2)  Fear of God's calling - what might He ASK of me?  Where might it lead?  What will I have to give up?  take up?   Not sure if I want to do what He wants of me.

3) Ignorance - Exactly what am I to Rise TO
                       Exactly How am I to do it?

4)  Despair - - tried and failed repeatedly, therefore why bother?  give up? 

On one hand, this is NOT every man's battle (some simply don't care, are not trying to Rise Up)
However, it is the battle of many - (and might be surprised by how many)

For those attempting to 'Rise Up' ... a story I find helpful.  The story of Jacob.
Name Jacob = manipulator, deceiver, heel-grabber, trickster.
Background prior to the story of Jacob.
He was 2nd. son of Isaac & Rebekah, grandson of Abraham - father of the faith.  Twin brother to Esau - was born second but had hold of Esau's heel at birth.
bought Esau's birthright, stole his blessing, fled to Haran (uncle Laban, mother's brother), worked 20 years, acquired family and wealth and now headed home.

Jacob --- doing well at this point??? -
On one hand, had great herds, gained wealth, servants, 2 wives, 2 maid servants, 11 sons, he's DONE WELL!!
To appease Esau, sent gift of 220 goats, 220 sheep, 60 camels, 50 head of cattle, 30 donkeys.  And, that just a portion of what he owned.
 However, doesn't love 1st wife, (primary, head wife).  With 2 wives and his 2 non-wives created constant rivalry in household.
He's been at odds with his father-in-law employer for 20 years, recently left there without notice!!  (was chased down and released because he was 'family')
He was going home to dad he deceived 20 years ago, and facing the brother he stole the blessing & birthright from and who vowed to kill him - who was approaching with 400 men1!!

SO Jacob decides to pray (reasonable, novel idea!) and get serious with God

AND something significant happens in the midst of that prayer time - Gen. 32:22-31

Angel?  pre-incarnate Christ??  are many views..  BUT it's clear = wrestling with God!!  And in midst of that, something very significant takes place - declaring, admitting owning his name.
AND, as he was wrestling with God, was also wrestling with himself!!

NOTE:  Gen. 32:27 - he declared his hame, he named his name, which - a confession ... OF...

#1.  His character

#2.  His failure (s) - (relationally)

#3.  His predicament - (which = of his own making)

#4  His incompetence  - (ineptitude, inadequacy) - he's unable to fix this

#5.  His need - (of God, God's help, blessing) - wants to rise up but trying to do it on his own.

He spent 30 years trying to climb up, when (in fact) he was slowing sliding Downhill!!

Finally he Recognizes it, admits it.
The result = turning point!!!  Jacob ==> Israel

Now to the application.

Declaring Your Name (owning, admitting)

#1.  Declaring your name is the 1st. step in Rising Up.
Because, we don't fix what isn't broken - example:  AA - step 1.

This is not - "I'm broken, failing in every way".  It is "I'm failing in many ways", and often, "I'm failing in the most important ways".
Two most important laws - relationship with God and relationship with man.

"declaring, naming" = admitting your 
        A.  flaws, failings
        B.  fault - sometimes your character is NOT all your fault, but your conduct is NOT the fault of others.
        C.  inability to overcome 'self

#2.  This principle is not gender specific - it is for all.  Applies to everyone who has reached the age of accountability

#3.  The naming/declaring is designed to help you UP!
Point:  it's not to push you down, hold you down, but so you see the truth, admit the need, turn to God, RISE UP.

#4.  the naming is only the 1st. step.  NOW = go forward, trusting God, becoming

#5.  the naming is not a one-time event.  example:  1 Tim.1:15, Phil. 3:12-15

The next mornign Jacob crossed the Jabbok - he didn't look blessed!!!!  Probably looked terrible after wrestling all night, and now limping.
BUT, 1)  he was blessed
         2) he knew it
         3) in time - people stopped calling him Jacob and started calling him "Israel"

1 Cor. 16:13

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